By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett today proposed a no-tax-increase budget, with cuts to higher education and welfare programs.

Gov. Corbett is proposing 30-percent cuts in state funding for three state-related universities — Temple, Penn State, and Pitt — and 20-percent cuts for fourteen state-owned universities.

The governor also proposes changes to welfare programs.

“The budget I bring you is built to transform the public welfare system — not to eliminate it, but to right-size it,” the governor said.

But Corbett’s proposal earned this rebuke from state senator Vincent Hughes (D-Phila.):

“This governor has spent a year putting his foot on the neck of poor people.”

Among the governor’s proposed welfare changes are the elimination of cash assistance for 60,000 recipients and revision of eligibility requirements for medical assistance benefits, including minimum work requirements for medically needy recipients.

Dozens of protesters objecting to Corbett’s proposals turned out for the budget address (below), forcing administration officials to run a gauntlet (after briefing reporters on the budget) prior to the speech.

(At the state capitol in Harrisburg, Demonstrators protest cuts in Gov. Corbett's proposed budget.  Credit: Tony Romeo)



Read the KYW Regional Affairs Council special report, “Princes & Paupers: The Income Gap At Work”